Cedars of Lebanon, peacock feathers and toasted teacakes…..

five spot


I’ve just finished piecing another three blocks for dear ethel….this is a nine patch block called “five spot”……the floral print is one I’ve had for ages and is a favourite (and yes I say that about nearly all the fabrics in “dear ethel” but that is really what I wanted it made up of…small pieces of favourite fabrics left over from other quilts…with a few newer fabrics that make my heart sing popped in for good measure)…and I love the yellow fabric too, it makes me think so much of warm summer afternoons when the air is filled with the soft drone of bees and I’m eating lemon curd and cream covered scones on the back doorstep.


aunt dinah


Another nine patch block (most of the blocks for dear ethel are based on nine patches (they seemed to suit the size I was working to better than the four patch, though there are a few of those included along the way)…this one is called Aunt Dinah (wasn’t Dinah a cat in Alice in Wonderland?) anyway the golden yellow is a Lecien print from there folklore collection (definitely one of my new favourite fabrics) and the peacock feather fabric is a tana lawn cotton, it’s quite old and was picked up in a bundle of other old fabrics from a junk shop in the city.  There wasn’t enough to do much with it (I’ve got plans at some point to incorporate some into a bib on a dress) but thought it worked well with the Lecien print.

This is definitely a block for Autumn, golden and copper, it’s afternoons spent in tea shops with plates of toasted tea cakes and cinnamon butter, a fat teapot on the table, steam gently filling the air as you pour out a cup of tea…..


new album


Lastly this block is called “new album”, it’s also called Cedars of Lebanon which I think is just one of the most beautiful names……maybe on reflection I should have made it using shades of green……anyway I like the mix of oranges and red with the tiny blue blossoms peeping through…..the pale orangey floral print was in the same junk shop bundle as the peacock fabric…there was a fair amount of this, enough I think for a blouse at least (I’m imagining tiny fabric covered buttons and pin tucks down the front).

I love reading the names of blocks, it’s funny how some seem to have as many names as you could imagine and then others just have the one….many blocks have the same name, other-times it’s just the one block (such as Cedars of Lebanon)……by changing the placement of light and dark fabrics the block changes name (a good example of this is “square and points” and “evening star”.  Where “square and points” is generally a dark print on a lighter background, “evening star” (also known as “cluster of stars” ) is the same block but this time it’s a light star on a dark background.

The names are almost like a secret language, a special code….like hidden meanings in bunches of posies, or semaphore hidden in an exotic dance (a reference there to the brilliant “2 Sisters – Super Spy graphic novel by Matt Kindt)…….a new quilt is tickling at the edge of my mind, for now it’s just a few scribbles, and hastily scrawled notes in the margins of a sketchbook.


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